Wild Boar Holiday Ham
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Recipe contributed by Podcast Host Dustyn Carroll
This recipe is very special to me because it’s a modified version of my family’s holiday ham recipe and is perfect for Christmas. The slight modification is that I now use a wild boar ham. Although, you can use a sow or a boar ham for this recipe. First off, let’s talk about the difference between cured hams and uncured hams just for clarification sake.
Cured Ham vs Uncured Ham:
We will discuss curing wild game more in depth in Episode 02 of Harvesting Nature’s Wild Fish and Game Podcast, but here is a quick rundown.
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The term ham is derived from the cut of meat, first and foremost. Uncured ham is a basic cut of animal known as “Fresh Ham” that has not been seasoned, brined, or cured. Cured ham is the fresh ham that has been… well, cured.
The USDA defines cured ham as, “Curing is the addition of salt, sodium or potassium nitrate (or saltpeter), nitrites, and sometimes sugar, seasonings, phosphates, and cure accelerators, e.g., sodium ascorbate, to pork for preservation, color development, and flavor enhancement.
Nitrate and nitrite contribute to the characteristic cured flavor and reddish pink color of cured pork. Nitrite and salt inhibit the growth of Clostridium botulinum, a deadly microorganism which can occur in foods under certain situations”
Will you, as the home wild game cook use all the above methods or even know what they are? Probably not, but there are some resources available if you want to cure your own hams at home. Most common curing additives are Morton’s Tender Quick, Pink Curing Salt, and Insta Cure. As a disclaimer, be careful and follow the directions when using these products. Misuse can be very bad.
For this recipe, you can use either cured or fresh hams. We choose a fresh boar ham and focused on the cooking instead of the curing. Enjoy!
1 (4 lbs) Wild boar ham
1⁄2 Teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 Cup dark brown sugar
24 Cream soda (two cans)
1 1⁄2 Cup Agave syrup
1 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Cinnamon stick
Pinch of Anise
1/2 Lemon rind
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the ham in a broiling pan and cut a criss-cross pattern across the top half, not too deep.
3. Combine half of the brown sugar (3/4 cup) and the dry mustard and pat it all over the ham like a rub.
4. Put the ham in the oven.
5. Combine all the other ingredients including the other half of brown sugar in a saucepan.
6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer, and cook until the liquid volume is reduced to about two cups.
7. Strain and set aside the liquid.
8. Spoon some of the glaze over the top of the ham.
9. Spoon more glaze, at 15-minute intervals. Retain a small amount for later glazing while the ham rests.
10. Continue baking until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 160-degrees.
11. Remove from oven and allow to rest for about one hour before carving.
12. Continue to spoon more glaze, at 15-minute intervals,